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Month: June 2017

A Harmony for Steve is Now Available in Paperback!

I FINALLY have a stock of A Harmony for Steve paperbacks! Every time I ordered them, I ran out of them right away. I now have enough to be able to promote them here! Click this link to order your copy!

To celebrate, any book on my Square store is 20% off! Use the code SUMMER2017 when you checkout to get the code!

I ship Priority Mail and charge $6.50 flat rate for shipping per order – so the more books you order at one time, the more you save on shipping!

When you order, specify how you want the book autographed.

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Interview with Author Ruth O’Neil and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m pleased to finally have Ruth O’Neil as my guest! I’ve had Ruth scheduled a couple of times, and kept having to reschedule her. Ruth is a homeschool mama and author of several Christian fiction books! Read on to see how you can be one of two winners of her book Come Eat at My Table!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I have been a writer since I was 9 – at least that’s when I considered myself a writer. I was born and raised in upstate NY, but now live in VA. I have been married for 26 years, have raised three children (homeschooling them all the way), and now teach writing classes at a local homeschool co-op. A couple of my favorite things to do are spend time at the beach, go camping, spend time at the beach, go hiking, spend time at the beach, and oh, yeah, spend time at the beach.

Tell us about your current release. The book I want to share with readers today is actually the first novel I published, Come Eat at My Table. I don’t know if it’s because this book if my “firstborn”, but it’s the book that is dearest to my heart. Karin is a woman who thinks she has long since left her past behind her. As soon as she was able, she ran away as far and as fast as she could. But now, 20 years later, the past has found her. It forces her to face issues and forgive those who hurt her, even if they never offered their repentance.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely! That’s why I write. The first time I received a note from a reader of Come Eat at My Table, I couldn’t stop smiling. In my mind, that book was a success. Nothing else after that mattered.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? The part about it being “Christian.” I hear so many readers today comment on how they started reading a book that was labeled Christian fiction only to contain gratuitous sex scenes, swearing, and other things that definitely should not be part of the Christian life. I’m proud of the fact that my books are completely clean. You can tell a hard story and still make it emotional without including all the gory details of life.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I don’t write fast enough some days. I’ll be writing along and have a GREAT idea. By the time I’m done writing down the thought I was previously working on, the new thought is often gone. I try, but unfortunately my brain works faster than my fingers sometimes.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Little bit of both. I am definitely a planner. When I start writing without a plan I end up nowhere. But that doesn’t mean I have to have all the details worked out before I begin. I usually have several stories brewing while I’m working on one. I just jot down all my ideas in a notebook for that idea so that when I’m ready for the next book, I already have quite a few thoughts in place.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) I am definitely a pen and paper at first gal. There’s something about the feel of the pen in your hand and the smell of the paper. I also have this weird thing about watching the ink go down in the pen. I guess I feel like when the ink is gone, I’ve accomplished something.

What is your inspiration for writing? Life. Inspiration is all around us. Come Eat at My Table has a LOT of real life scenes in it. I think that’s what makes it real to readers and draws them in – they can relate.

Find Ruth online:

Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Amazon, Google+

Find Ruth’s Come Eat at My Table online!

Ruth is giving away TWO copies of Come Eat at My Table! Winner can choose ebook or print. Enter here:

 

 

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You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Interview with Author Johnnie Alexander and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so happy to bring you Johnnie Alexander. Johnnie and I have met several times at conferences and have interracted regularly online almost my whole career. I have always loved my interactions with her and hope you’ll enjoy this interview. Johnnie is giving away a copy of her latest release, so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Lately I’ve been a gal on the move! At the end of March, I packed up a U-Haul truck and my little Pontiac Vibe, coordinated travel routes with my son (who drove the truck), settled my two dogs in the car, and returned to the Sunshine State after living three years in the Memphis area.

I love road trips and this one was memorable and also, thankfully!, trouble-free. The dogs, Rugby the papillon and Griff the collie, are terrific travelers.

Though I’ve lived more years in Florida than anywhere else, I grew up in Ohio. My mom’s family, on both sides, settled there in the 1700s. I’ve often wondered why they stayed for so long—and where my own “vagabond feet” come from.

Tell us about your current release. What Hope Remembers is the third story in the Misty Willow Series. It takes place in a fictional Ohio county inspired by the places where I grew up.

Amy Somers, who appears in the previous stories as a vindictive, selfish trouble-maker, wants a fresh start. But that won’t happen unless she can forgive herself for her wrong decisions. Gabe Kendall is looking for a fresh start, too. He’s ashamed of his prison record even though he was convicted in a “wrong place at the wrong time” situation.

Both Amy and Gabe are trapped by their pasts and need to discover that the past doesn’t have to define them—they can, through God’s grace and steadfast love—look forward to a happier future.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I always thought I remembered Kennedy’s assassination, and I do remember my parents being sad about an event I didn’t quite understand. But a few years ago, when Mom and I were talking about it, I learned I had combined that memory with another one. I always thought Kennedy was assassinated on the same day my mom’s elderly cocker spaniel died. Actually those events happened a few months apart.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? When I still lived on the farm outside Memphis, I pasture-lapped. The pasture sloped on all sides, and the level section—which was rather large—was the highest point in the rural neighborhood. I’d walk all around it, thinking and praying, praying and thinking. It’s amazing how traipsing around trees and along a fence while a herd of alpaca look down their noses at you can be so inspirational.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Not usually—I love the surprises that happen as the story unfolds. I do try to have a “who does what why” statement though even that can change during the writing process. I also scribble notes about two or three possible events so I have something to write toward.

However, my most recent contracts are for two cozy mysteries. The publisher requested a detailed chapter summary so for these stories I’ve done all the plotting upfront. Even so, the characters still manage to surprise me. I love that!

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.): I write the story on the computer. However, I use a small spiral notebook—an artist sketchbook (about 6” x 9”)—to scribble ideas about the characters’ greatest fears and deepest wants and possible plot points. I use this notebook throughout the writing process to take notes, brainstorm ideas, keep track of specifics, figure out timelines and ages, and for research. It’s a delightful mess and a great resource for me.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I loved Beverly Cleary and, even though I’m not at all athletic, I read every Matt Christopher novel I could get my hands on—they’re all sports-related. I loved The Bobbsey Twins, The Hollisters, The Five Little Peppers, Pippi Longstocking, and The Secret Garden. I especially loved mysteries and biographies.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? I think there are two types of stories—the heart-tug stories and . . . well, I’m not sure what to call the second type.

My heart-tug stories are Where Treasure Hides, my WWII novel, and Where She Belongs, the first story in the Misty Willow Series. I felt something deep inside that inspired me to write both those novels.

But here’s the thing—just because the second two Misty Willow stories weren’t inspired by a “heart-tug” that doesn’t mean I didn’t care about them or that they are somehow lesser stories. It just means that the emotional connection I made with them came as part of the writing instead of preceding the writing.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I dried a newborn alpaca and watched her take her first steps. If I’d gone up to the pasture just a few minutes sooner, I would have seen the birth. I’ve also given injections to an alpaca and single-handedly shoved a troublesome pig into a dog crate.

Find Johnnie online:

Website/Blog, Facebook Profile (Friend or Follow!) , Facebook Author Page, Twitter, GoodReads, Amazon Author Page

Find Johnnie’s latest release:

Johnnie is giving away a copy of What Hope Remembers! If you’re in the U.S., you are entering to win a paperback copy. International readers are entering to win an ebook!

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Interview with USA Today Bestselling Author Valerie Comer and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so happy to have Valerie Comer return to us! Valerie and I worked together on a box set called Love Brings Us Home, and for a while, I was a regular contributor to her blog InspyRomance.com. I love Valerie as my sister in Christ and totally jive with her food and farming philosophies. Enjoy this interview and read on to see how you can enter to win an ebook of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, it’s great to be back! I’m Valerie Comer, and I’m a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner who writes contemporary romance with engaging characters, deep faith, and strong communities. I hope my imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as I do mine, shared with my husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Tell us about your current release. Sprouts of Love is part of a multi-author series of Christian contemporary romance novels, all set in the fictional town of Arcadia Valley, Idaho, and focused on foodie issues. Each author contributed an introductory novella to Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley, and we’re releasing a novel a month for eighteen months! Sprouts of Love is my first solo novel within this series.

In Sprouts of Love, single mom Evelyn Felton takes on a third part-time job managing a greenhouse and garden project for Grace Fellowship. Formerly homeless, she’s thrilled to offer truckloads of fresh produce to the Arcadia Valley food bank.

If only Ben Kujak weren’t running Corinna’s Cupboard singlehandedly, he’d be delighted to be on the receiving end. But Evelyn and her dynamo daughter, Maisie, won’t take no for an answer, even if it means restructuring Ben’s charity.

Soon Ben finds himself wishing they’d transform his personal life, too, but can true love sprout when their pasts collide with the present?

Click here for more information: http://valeriecomer.com/sprouts

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel? What were some of your major roadblocks and how did you overcome them? I realized the other day that I’ve been writing for 15 years, but I daydreamed about it for years before that. I read countless how-to-write books from the local library, but nothing really clicked for me until the spring of 2002. I’d just begun a new job in a small-town flooring shop  and suddenly found myself with a lot of empty time. This time the Internet had been invented, and I discovered an online community of writers. I was determined to figure out how to write an entire novel. The first one took me almost a year, and I have never re-read it since. It served its purpose: I learned that I could write 100,000 words and I also learned but I needed to study story structure! From there, I just put my head down and kept writing novel after novel, most of them very bad, for several years as I slowly improved. I think the takeaway is simply continuing on!

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? In the past 15 years, I’ve tried every plotting method devised by man. My methods have changed a great deal over the years. Now I do a lot of setting and character work in advance, and let the plot reveal itself as I write. Because I write contemporary romance, the final outcome is never in question, but I still find many surprises as I go along and hope the reader does, too. I often have very little idea, or none at all, as to what might keep the characters apart when I begin the story.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? You might think, and you’d be right, that there are many days when I don’t know what I’m going to write when I sit down with my computer. That is definitely one of the downsides to being a seat-of-the-pants writer! The first thing I do is stop to pray. I may not know where the story is going, but God does, and He reveals it to me bit by bit as I ask Him to.

I often read back over the previous day’s work, and do a slight edit. This often gets me back in the flow of the story and I carry on.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Yes! Because I write in series, readers have an expectation for how long books in that series are going to be. I’ve written quite a few novellas, and these tend to come out at a very similar length, about 30K. Most of my other books, at least those written in the past 18 months, are within a few thousand words of each other at about 55K. Even though I don’t plot in advance, I keep the story pacing somewhere in my head. I’m not sure where I hide, it seems to be available as needed.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) I wrote my first two or three novels in the back of the flooring store in a spiral bound notebook and typed them out evenings at home on the computer. Then I invested in a second-hand desktop computer to keep at work. My boss guys were awesome about my writing, by the way. They even got Internet into the store just for me. After a while I bought a laptop, and only a year and a half ago, long after I left the day job, did I go back to a stationary computer.

Initially, it was a big change learning to think with my hands on the keyboard, but after having written and published more than 15 books in the past three years, I’m feeling the effect of all that typing. These days, I’m in the process of learning how to dictate my stories. In fact, I’m dictating this  blog post! The transition is not an easy one, but just as I once learned to think with my hands on the keyboard, I’m now learning to think and write with my hands in my pockets. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I think to be a successful author, you need to do both. I could never write strictly for the money. If I am not having a good time getting to know my characters and engaging in their situations, then I might as well be working in retail or sales again. Writing gives me the freedom to have my dream day job and I don’t take it lightly. But, because it is my day job, I also have to earn an income, so there’s no point in writing stories that no one wants to read! Some days it seems like a fine line between the two, but I am confident if I’m telling the stories God has put on my heart, there will be an audience for them, however large or small that may be.

Find Valerie online:

Website/blog, Arcadia Valley site, Inspy Romance, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Links to Sprouts of Love on various vendors

Find Valerie’s latest release:

Valerie is giving away an ebook copy of Sprouts of Love! Enter for your chance to win.

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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